Smiles of a Summer Night
Eva Dahlbeck, Gunnar Björnstrand, Ulla Jacobsson, Harriet Andersson,
One of the cinema’s great erotic comedies. The plot is an Ophulsian ronde of love affairs and intrigues revolving around a middle-aged lawyer (Gunnar Björnstrand); his young wife who remains a virgin; his former mistress, a sophisticated stage actress (Eva Dahlbeck); her lover, and his wife. They gather for a weekend at the country estate of the actress’s elderly mother, who works a kind of magic on this ménage of infinite possibilities. A true parody of the ridiculous male, this is a comic working-out of an idea suggested so tragically in Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel—that men are a species of beast who turn to women to save them from being totally humiliated. Not always a smart move.